Experts open up for free lectures at UVic

Psychology

Get an inside peek into recent research in false memory, evolution, autism and relationships, during the University of Victoria TAUGHT lecture series. The series is organized by PsychOS, the Psychology Organization of UVic undergraduate students, and the UVic Chapter of Psi Chi, the international honour society in psychology.

“TAUGHT: Where Knowledge and Media Collide – Making Learning Entertaining” runs Feb. 9 and 16, from 7 to 9 p.m. at UVic’s Bob Wright Centre, room B150.

Feb. 9: Why Intelligent People Stay Up Later and Drink More Alcohol: Martin Smith will explore the concept of “general intelligence” and why some of us have more of it than others; Thinking About Cell Phones, Pencils and Spray-cans: When Language and Actions Collide: Daniel Bub will explain why humans are unique in their ability to think abstractly; Photoshopped Memories: False Memories and False, True and Irrelevant Photographs: Stephen Lindsay will examine how memory works and how we reconstruct the past.

Feb. 16: The Good, the Bad, and the Evolutionary: Can Evolutionary Psychology be Careful Science: Jeffrey Niehaus will discuss the brain, human adaptation and evolutionary psychology as careful science; Facing up to Autism: The Mysteries of Facial Recognition: James Tanaka will discuss the mysteries of the human face recognition and how it is affected by autism; and Am I Ready for a Relationship? Relationship initiation is an essential first step in forming new romantic relationships, yet the process is inherently risky with Danu Stinson.

Religion

What the Buddha never taught: a “behind the robes” account of life in a Thai jungle monastery

Ever want to leave it all behind? There is a place in the jungles of Thailand where Westerners can live according to the monastic rules laid down by the Buddha more than 2,500 years ago. Canadian author Tim Ward joined this monastery. He shaved his head, put on Buddhist robes and joined the monks in begging for food in the villages.

During a Feb. 11 public lecture at UVic, Ward will discuss the rigours of the life of a Buddhist monk, the quirks and absurdities of Westerners who put on holy robes and how his stay at Wat Pahnanachat has affected his life.

Feb. 11 from 1:30 – 2:20 p.m., David Strong Building, Room C116.

Is religion a private matter? From conspicuous mosques and headscarves to political cartoons, burnings of the Qur’an and plots of terror, the shadow of 9/11 seems long and wide. For many in the West, all this spells a retreat from the promise of a “rational modernity” where religion knows its place as a private matter.

“The Civic Umma: Citizenship in a Secular Age” 2011 Distinguished Lecture in Islam by Dr. Amyn B. Sajoo of the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures at Simon Fraser University is set for Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m., in Harry Hickman Building, Room 105.

Writing

The Department of Writing presents their fourth annual Harvey Stevenson Southam Lecturer in Journalism and Nonfiction. Richard Wagamese, the award-winning author, will discuss the role of storytelling in the digital age, as well as launch his latest memoir, One Story, One Song (Douglas & McIntyre), the follow-up to his acclaimed One Native Life, which was named one of the Globe and Mail’s top-100 books of 2009. Lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16, in the Harry Hickman Building, room 105.